What a waste! Average American trashes over $500 in uneaten fruit every year

NEW YORK — Are you buying more than you need at the grocery store? A new survey finds lots of fruit is going to waste and some may be in your refrigerator right now. The poll of 2,000 adults says the average American throws out $520 worth of fruit every single year!

The survey, conducted on behalf of the Washington Red Raspberry Commission, suggests that many Americans can save on their grocery bill by buying less fruit since so much of it ends up in the trash. The average survey respondent throws out three pieces of fruit every week. Perhaps even more confounding is that 70 percent say they aren’t getting enough fruit in their diets.

Why aren’t people eating fruit?

The majority of respondents (75%) don’t know the proper amount of fruit to eat each day. The American Heart Association recommends four to five servings daily. Many also confuse certain fruits for vegetables. For example, over 40 percent of respondents think tomatoes are a vegetable and 25 percent think avocados are too.

People cite various reasons for not eating enough fruit. Over a third of the poll say they don’t have enough time or forget to eat five servings a day. Another 32 percent believe prices are too expensive, causing them to never buy produce. Researchers reveal 23 percent say they just don’t like fruit, with one of the biggest reasons being that it goes bad too quickly.

COVID-19 puts an emphasis on preservation

One question the survey asks looks at how America’s fruit-buying is changing during the coronavirus pandemic. Over a third of Americans say they are buying more frozen fruit since they are going to the grocery store less. Families add they are storing fruit in the freezer for longer periods.

Most respondents (86%) think it’s important to buy locally grown products made in America, but some (23%) report that it’s difficult to do so since the country of origin is not always advertised. People are also trying to buy specific fruits from the states that have a reputation for growing that fruit the best.

“The survey underscores the fact that many Americans may want to lean on frozen fruit to ensure they don’t end up with so much waste,” Henry Bierlink, executive director of the Red Raspberry Commission says in a statement. “Here in Washington state we’re growing 90 percent of the nation’s frozen red raspberries, and our farmers are pleased their fruit can provide people with nourishment year-round and at the highest quality.”

Meanwhile, an overwhelming 89 percent of the survey didn’t know Washington State produces most of the country’s frozen red raspberries.

“What many people don’t realize is that frozen Washington red raspberries go straight from our farms to freezing within hours of being picked at the peak of ripeness, locking in nutritional value, flavor and quality. In fact, that’s happening right now as we’re in the midst of harvest,” Bierlink adds. “Of course, it’s great to see that respondents perceive raspberries as one of the top 10 healthiest fruits, because in fact raspberries have more fiber than any other berry with 6 grams per cup.”

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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